The 23nd annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Ireland. October 23th – 26th 2015 Est. 1993
The annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival programme – which comes with an equally annual warning that it’s provisional by nature and subject to subtle change – has just been released by festival chairman, Cormac O’Mahony and music director, Patsy O’Donoghue.
This year’s festival opens on Friday night, October 23rd at 8pm. and will run with gusto right through to closing time on the following Monday / Tuesday 26th / 27th.
If one was to put the line-up in a sporting context, the town will be walking with Olympic gold medalists over the weekend.
The list hereunder is simply a guide – a good guide and a fair harbinger of the calibre of musician and music to be heard here over the weekend.
However, that wonderful word Impromptu rears its creative, gamey and unpredictable head and turns all the signposts in all kinds of wonderful ways and there’s a full moon on the 27th to guide the wayward home.
This year’s festival will feature fiddle and accordion workshops with a difference. Coming together will be some of Ireland’s favourite accordion players: Jackie Daly, John Brosnan, Paudie O’Connor, Derek Hickey, Colm Gannon and Bryan O’Leary and fiddle players: Matt Cranitch, Nicky McAuliffe, Gerry Harrington, Connie Connell, Paddy Jones, Emma O Leary and Con Moynihan.
These meitheal-style events will provide a chance for students of accordion and fiddle and listeners alike to get to hear their favourite players up close. There will be the opportunity for attendees to ask questions on any aspect of the instruments such as tuning, instrument care, playing styles and techniques. The workshops are open to listeners as well as players and, with such a star-studded line up, a couple of mighty sessions are guaranteed!
The Provisional programme reads as follows:
Opening night: Friday, October 23th at 8pm. There will be a ‘Gathering Session’ to which all are welcome. 8.30pm In the course of the session Paddy Jones will deliver his insightful lecture The Music of Sliabh Luachra.
At 10pm. The all encompassing Pub Trail begins with organised and impromptu sessions with Ireland’s top traditional musicians in pubs throughout the town. A detailed programme will be available in the pubs and hotel.
Saturday, October 24th: From 2 pm to 5pm fiddle workshop / recital. Also at 2pm: the ubiquitous pub trail continues all day. 3 pm. A new fiddle workshop/discussion and recital with players like: Matt Cranitch, Nicky McAuliffe, Gerry Harrington, Connie O’Connell, Paddy Jones, Emma O’Leary and Con Moynihan.
Also at 3pm. The ever popular singing afternoon in Hartnett’s Bar with Mickey MacConnell, Tim Dennehy, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Joe Creedon and Tracy Ryan. Singers and listeners welcome.
2pm: Cúpla Focal le Éamonn Ó Braoin – Brush up on your conversational Irish in an informal, relaxed class with Éamonn Ó Braoin in Nana Bea’s Restaurant – just off the car park beside the new library.
3pm: An addition to this year’s festival programme is the gathering of visiting, overseas musicians under the Friends of Sliabh Luachra umbrella at Kearney’s Bar on Saturday afternoon.
At 4.00 an art exhibition opens in Browne’s Bar featuring local artist Kevin Barry and continues all weekend.
At 6.pm. CD launch by Meabh Ni Bheaglaoich and Matt Griffin at The Crown.
Sunday, October 25th: 11:30am Mass with traditional music for the departed friends of the festival. At 1pm: the pub trail runs all day. At 2.30pm the new meitheal-style accordion workshop/discussion and recital with: Jackie Daly, Paudie O’Connor, John Brosnan, Bryan O’Leary and Derek Hickey. At 3pm: Set Dancing with Ger Murphy of the Abbey Ceili Band.
3pm: Day two of the singing workshop at The Poet’s Inn. Mikey O’Connor will be the host here with special guest, Gabriel Fitzmaurice. Local and visiting singers and good listeners are welcome.
Sunday night: The annual and hugely popular Sunday night concert at 8pm at the River Island Hotel.
Concert Line-up includes: Breaking Trad – Donal Murphy, accordion; Niall Murphy, fiddle and Mike Galvin, guitar.
Paudie O’Connor and Aoife Ni Chaoimh; Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch and Paul de Grae; Liam O’Connor, (fiddle) Liam Flannagan, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail and Derek Hickey. Jessie Smith, Colm Gannon and John Blake; Bryan O’ Leary and Colm Guilfoyle.
Presentation of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Award to Donal O’Connor by RTÉ Radio presenter, Peter Browne.
Tickets can be had at €20 each from the River Island Hotel on 066 71 42555. Booking is very strongly advised as seating spaces are limited. Pub trail continues.
Sunday night: the pub trail continues.
Monday, October 26th 1pm. pub trail will continue all day till late.
A festival programme will be available in all outlets over the weekend and that will detail all times and matching players and venues.